“The atmosphere in Reynolds hasn’t lost anything.”
NC State’s Red Coat Revival continued on a night where Reynolds Coliseum was rocking, and the officiating was even more unstable as the ‘not-good-enough-for-the-Big-Dance’ zebras lost control of the game in the in the second half. In a season where NC State didn’t have a player called for a single technical foul, the YMCA referees from Hillsborough Street deemed it necessary to call two technicals on NC State players in the same game?!
NC State’s 11th NIT Appearance is shaping up to be a good one. The Wolfpack controlled 80% of Friday night’s game and led the last 32 minutes and 12 seconds to defeat Marist 69-62.
The win was particularly satisfying to many old-school Wolfpackers who found it hard to swallow that NC State lost its last meaningful game in the Old Barn when Herb Sendek’s 1999 Wolfpack fell victim to Princeton in the NIT. As opposed to the last NIT game played in Reynolds, tonight’s match-up only had one team on the floor who thought that the role of center is to float around the three-point line. Tonight’s win now means that program may have won its last meaningful game in the building.
Fans who tried to watch the game on ESPNU were met with quite a surprise when ESPNU chose to stick with Live coverage of the NCAA Wrestling Championships. Ultimately, the channel switched to the game 25 minutes late (9:55) and with just over eight minutes remaining in the first half. It is hard to understand how/why ESPN had the right/power to dictate the day and starting time of our game if they weren’t going to actually televise it!
State now advances to the NIT Quarterfinals where to play West Virginia for the second time time this season. In early December, West Virginia defeated State 71-60 in one of the Wolfpack’s first games without Engin Atsur. The rematch of the Wolfpack and Mountaineers will take place on Tuesday or Wednesday of next week and will be televised on ESPN (if it Tuesday) or ESPN2 (if Wednesday).
Some quick numbers to absorb:
* Sidney Lowe’s postseason record improves 5-1.
* The Red Blazer’s record improves to 5-1-1.
* NC State wins twenty games for the year.
* Sidney Lowe becomes the fourth NC State coach to record 20 wins in his first season. The previous ones were Les Robinson, Press Maravich, and Everett Case.
* NC State has appeared in six consecutive postseasons.
* With the win, the Atlantic Coast Conference’s 2007 postseason record improves to an impressive 10-2. In addition to the NCAA Tournament games, Florida State defeated the Big Ten’s Michigan earlier in the day to also advance to the NIT quarterfinals.
The last two comments left by our readers in this previous entry are very relevant to my comments. One comment is a review of the December’s State-WVU game and the other is an eye-witness account of Reynolds tonight.
I just got back from Reynolds. What a game. We all got to see the players up close and personal in the tight, small gym. The noise meter was not there, and neither did they turn off the lights prior to our introduction. But I passed these off as relating to the last-minuteness of all the preparations…
…I got my tix scalped, it was a bunch, and it was worth it ; } just a fun, fun environment. it seemed like the players decided to cheer us for supporting them when the game was over, seemed like a pleasant mutual gesture, us applauding them, and the players applauding their base.
You can click here for a link to some pictures taken of the evening.
Updated for Good Press:
* CBS Sportsline says that State is continues an “Exhasuting Run”
There’s still some magic left in Sidney Lowe’s red jacket — and in North Carolina State’s creaky Reynolds Coliseum.
Ben McCauley scored 19 points and the Wolfpack continued their exhausting, exhilarating postseason run with a 69-62 victory over Marist on Friday night in the second round of the National Invitation Tournament.
Dennis Horner and Gavin Grant added 13 points apiece for N.C. State (20-15), which played its sixth game in nine days and improved to 5-1 in that span.
The weary Wolfpack fed off a raucous sellout crowd in a rare game at Reynolds, their venerable former home where a generation ago Lowe played point guard on the Jim Valvano-led team that won the 1983 national title.
* S6 always has the statstical recap.
Dennis Horner didn’t miss a shot, be it from the field or the line, and scored 13 points in 15 minutes–34.7 pts/40 minutes. Now that’s some scoring punch off the bench.
* The N&O’s Blog is all over One More Win in the Old Barn.
* The N&O’s newspaper also focused on the Wolfpack fans “Rocking Reynolds”
When N.C. State’s players padded onto the Reynolds Coliseum court Friday night for warm-ups, thousands of red-clad Wolfpack fans rose and gave them a standing ovation.
Coach Sidney Lowe appeared later — in his red coat — and received a roaring standup cheer from the capacity crowd of 8,400. This was a resounding tribute to a resilient, underdog team that turned February frustration into a few festive days in March.